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Learn more about the true history of Meaux with the Folles Époques! show and the Musée de la Grande Guerre

7 min read


..never far from the famous Brie de Meaux‘ brotherhood.
The cathedral‘s facade also visible by night..

Why don’t you book your venue for the next edition of the “Folles Époques!” show in Meaux? The last shows happened between June 4 until July 9, 2022, with again an outstanding experience standing at the Episcopal City of Meaux. In this important city of Seine et Marne department, 2000 years of history would be told you in an epic and family show, only visible for 8 dates at nightfall. Therefore, the historical spectacle of Meaux invites its spectators since 1982, for a magical journey through time that built this city, easily reachable from Paris Gare De l’Est in just 25mn. Once seated in the stands, just in front of the incredible Saint Stephen Gothic Cathedral, relive the major dates of the local but also French history, as well in the Musée de la Grande Guerre, for more facts about World War 1. By AP

..preferably with a guide in order to better admire those details.
An incredible Gothic construction to visit..

Therefore, this “Folles Époques!” is a collective adventure since it counts no less than 500 volunteer extras, wearing the honorable amount of 2,500 homemade costumes. This troop of passionate autochthons would offer you the best of their entertaining talent to either become comedians, dancers, musicians and horse riders, melted in this impressive sound and light show.

Adding to this, those part-time artists are enlightened by around 300 sets of lights and 900 projectors, in order to transform this scenic energy into a magical journey, thanks to sumptuous 19 marvelous scenes. Those sequences are often adorned with mapping projections, plus colored spotlights and fireworks (photo credits: AP).
..while the nave remains the oldest part of the cathedral.
Some reliefs around the Episcopal Palace..
This amazing creation exists since 1982, and stands in front of the Saint Étienne de Meaux Cathedral, with the possibility to host more than 900 spectators on the stands. Most of them have surely traveled to Meaux with the desire to be bewitched by this summer super production, made in Seine-et-Marne.
This majestic edifice, began in the 12th century and was completed three centuries later with the construction of the northern tower of 60 meters. Therefore, this cathedral combines the different phases of Gothic era, from the classical style of the end of the 12th century until the flamboyant style, so typical of the 15th century. the cathedral, the volunteer extras may change their costumes.
A crossed-shaped arena ready to welcome 900 spectators..

In summary, during the 75mn duration of this fabulous show, learn more about the first Meaux people, called the Meldes, before the Viking invasions until the Roaring Twenties, while passing through the Middle Ages, but also sad episodes of the Plague, the Saint-Barthelemy, the French Revolution and the Battle Of The Marne, in the tragic WWI but also the WWII.

This epic realization is voice-overed with the participation of the French actor Lorànt Deutsch, but only in French version, without forgetting many dancing scenes, for your eyes only. Thus, a cool way to practice your French and introduce you to some illustrious men who left their mark in this Seine et Marne territory.


..the large west rose window and the magnificent organ.
Also noteworthy the stained glass window of the Crucifixion.. 

Among them, we can count on Bossuet, known as the important Bishop of Meaux, who played a major role, along Henri IV, Louis XVI (after his arrest) and Talleyrand. During 8 evenings only, from June 4th (but also 10th, 11th and 17th) until July 9th (but also 1st, 2, 8 and 9 July) 2022, learn more about the different facets of this fascinating urban biography of the city of Meaux

The time of a marvelous theatrical, musical, historical and artistic Folles Époques production, you can feel some remains of the former shows of Héroïques and Les Flèches Du Temps, that as well stood in the heart of the episcopal city, at the foot of this fantastic cathedral
Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Meaux, Rue Saint-Etienne, 77100 Meaux (France) / Phone : 00 33 (0)1 64 33 52 35. More information about the Folles Époques! show booking, on the official website.

..inside the Bossuet Museum, near the Synod hall.
A bed of red roses on the facade of this charming hamlet inn..

Not far from this, you are invited to visit the Bossuet Museum still located in the Episcopal Palace of Meaux, at the heart of the City enclosure of Gallo-Roman ramparts. also home to the cathedral, the old chapter house building and a charming episcopal garden.

An exceptional cultural center, this Palace carries hosted the eponym bishop who resided there, among his successors. The ground floor, dating from the 12th century, on the garden side, often welcomes temporary exhibitions, like nowadays the “M” For Ever by Jean Lancri, occurring until 15 August 2022. Built during the Renaissance by Guillaume Briçonnet, initiator of the Brotherhood of Meaux.
..not far from the pharmacopeia cupboard, as vestiges of the past.
This palatial typed chapel dates from the 12th century..

On the first floor, don’t miss the Synod room, with its large apartments, the chapel and annexes are home to the museum’s Fine Art collections. This space includes paintings and sculptures that supplement the major directions of the various collections in the building.

For instance, the 16th century is represented by the “Déposition de Croix” by Frans Floris, regarding the 17th-century, you could admire the artworks of the Meaux painter Jean Senelle, offering a particular vision as well as those of Bon de Boullogne, Noël Coypel, François Verdier, Jean Tassel and the Le Nain brothers. In another hand, the 18th-century shines with the masterpieces by Carle Van Loo, Jean-François de Troy et Charles-Antoine Coypel.
..not far from unforgettable and unique artworks.
The charming sloped and bricked access ramp..

Furthermore, the 19th-century art collection includes, among others, artworks by Jean-François Millet, Charles Daubigny, Alexandre Decamps, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Camille Roqueplan, Hippolyte Sebron, Herman LoeschinEdmé Bouchardon, Louis Ernest Barrias, Jean-François Gechter, as well as anonymous medieval artists’ sculptures.

Another room shows documents evoking Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, the Bishop of Meaux from 1682 to 1704. Moreover, don’t miss his cabinet also called the Queen‘s bedroom, following the King‘s bedroom, once served as Bossuet‘s office. Indeed, King Louis XVI occupied the bishop‘s room, Queen Marie-Antoinette and her two children spent the night in this room.
Musée Bossuet, 5 Place Charles de Gaulle, 77100 Meaux (France) / Phone : 00 33 (0)1 64 34 84 45. More information on the official website.

..this blue soldier is ready to conquer your heart.. 
Maybe an authentic flashback in time?

For 10 years now, the Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux has brought together hundreds of history enthusiasts, on the first weekend of September for a real World War I reconstitution weekend. A decade of history, occurring in Meaux with many reenactment surprises. Starring on the program, various vehicle and shooting demonstrations, troop reviews…

And to show the link between the front and the back sides, racing pigeons will be organized along pen writing workshops. Cherry on the cake, the Caval’scène company has performed a new show, around horses. At this occasion, Augustin Pandort‘s displays his amazing war horses.  
..countless military molds are there to illustrate the reality of war.
The Caval’scène on an outdoor stage..

The show tells the story of an equestrian trainer mobilized in a training camp. A good way to better understand the issues and what happened during the World War 1, and A fine introduction before discovering the rest of this wide space dedicated to memory. A unique collection in Europe, allowing us to approach the conflict from a military, technical but also human point of views. 

Symbolically located at the foot of an American monument commemorating the Battles of the Marne in 1914 and 1918.  The Musée de la Grande Guerre stands as a real path to a journey of War remembrance. Thus, this museum offers an extraordinary collection of objects on a surface of 3000m². This selection has been gradually built by Jean-Pierre Verney, a WW1 specialist. 
..versus another realistic reconstitution of a trench.
A real-size sculpture of a hero, the Marechal Foch..

For instance, the path presents the daily life of soldiers as well as of their women and kids. With permanent back and forth between the front and the rear, for more clarity. All warring nations are represented through the collection of uniforms. In another hand and for more details, a reconstruction of French and German trenches and shelters is visible.

Don’t also miss projections of archival or fictional images and even educational games. In order to better understand the real impact of this bad war, you could touch some objects. As you can see, many tools facilitate your comprehension of this complex subject. Apart from those 200 complete uniforms, count on rifles, machine guns, sabers, bayonets, shells and even torpedoes.
..what a design corridor to cross through.
Other colors were visible, before the apparition of green uniforms..

Plus, some heavy equipment, such as Blériot XII-2 and SPAD XIII planes, a Parisian taxi, two Berliet trucks, and even a pigeon lorry… Among this, you could find newspapers, photographs, glass plates, posters, postcards but also drawings, letters, engravings, paintings… And to entertain the young visitors, free games booklets and audio-guided tours are available. 

On top of that, if you feel more adventurous, why don’t you visit the surroundings of this museum? Take the opportunity to pursue your journey in the footsteps of the soldiers of this decisive Marne Battle, which sealed the fate of the final issue of this First World War. The time of a 40km path and 10 sites to contemplate, discover the places of this Marne Battle Circuit, where those courageous men restored a hint of peace in Europe
Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux, Rue Lazare Ponticelli, 77100 Meaux (France) / Phone : 00 33 (0)1 60 32 14 18. More information on their official website.

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